Wigan documentary-makers bid to take fashionista film around the world

The film stars Allan BradburyThe film stars Allan Bradbury
The film stars Allan Bradbury
A short film about an eccentric fashionista has been screened for the first time by a team of Wigan documentary-makers.

Northern Heart Films, which is based at The Old Courts, held a behind-closed-doors VIP test screening of Finding ‘Appiness at a packed Chapeltown Picturehouse in Manchester.

Selected guests, friends and family were entertained by some of the best spoken word artists in the North, along with two supporting films themed on recovery. There was also a special question and answer session with the film-makers and subject Allan Bradbury.

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Producer Scott Bradley and director Natasha HawthornthwaiteProducer Scott Bradley and director Natasha Hawthornthwaite
Producer Scott Bradley and director Natasha Hawthornthwaite

Finding ‘Appiness is the intimate story of Allan, a 77-year-old fashionista in love with Vivienne Westwood clothing, who is recovering from a childhood trauma and years of substance abuse.

The short documentary was made possible by the BFI Doc Society’s Made of Truth fund and the Iambic Dream Foundation.

Director Natasha Hawthornthwaite, who spent eight years working on the film, said: “It’s been a long and sometimes painful journey capturing Allan’s life on camera. Allan’s such a huge inspiration for me and he’s helped me overcome my own challenges. To finally be able to finish Finding ‘Appiness and to show it to the world is beyond words.”

Writer and poet Romina Ramos, who performed on the night, said: “The film was shot beautifully and captured Allan’s true style and beauty. It’s very rare you see stories of addiction with a happy ending, so this really was a breath of fresh air.”

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The team at Northern Heart Films raised money for Damien John Kelly House, an abstinence-based residential recovery service for men in Liverpool, by raffling off some of Allan’s colorful Viviene Westwood clothing.

Producer Scott Bradley said: “We want to share Allan’s story to as many people as possible. This private screening was just the beginning and after hearing so many positive comments from people in recovery, I really believe this film has the power to inspire many more.”

Northern Heart will now work with the BFI Doc Society and executive producer Wael Kabbani from Iambic Dream Films, to build a launch strategy to screen Finding ‘Appiness across the world.

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